plep Archive

5th July
Feminae Romanae. Women's life in the Roman Empire. 'In all of Roman literature surviving the fall of its Empire, only six short poems from a woman named Sulpicia have come down to us that speak in a woman's authentic voice. Yet more has been learned of Roman women in the past thirty years than in centuries before. From the Empress to her freedwoman, the good wife to the prostitute, the midwife to the scholar, this site presents an introduction to the history of the women of ancient Rome.'
The forgotten woman: working Romans.

Friends of Nature. Fine, and brave, people. 'A Chinese environmental NGO, formally registered in March 1994 as the Academy for Green Culture, an affiliate to the non-governmental Academy for Chinese Culture. FON is a nonprofit, public welfare organization funded by membership fees and public support.'
Green Party of Iran.
Green parties in Africa.

The Civil War letters of Galutia York. 'Galutia York was the oldest son of a farm family from Hubbardsville, New York. When President Lincoln called for 300,000 volunteers in the summer of 1862, Galutia enlisted in the Union Army. He was 19 years old when he mustered into Company G of the 114th New York State Volunteer Infantry ... '

James Baldwin and the FBI. 'At the beginning of October 1963, James Baldwin traveled by plane to Selma, Alabama, to support a voting registration drive for recently enfranchised blacks, held at the Dallas County Courthouse in the center of town. His brother David went with him. The pair had expected to be met at the airport by a person who did not show up, and so Baldwin telephoned another friend in Selma, then made for the Gaston Hotel, where he took a room. Once installed, he tried to put through a call to the Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, but did not succeed.'
'These skeletal but oddly vivid details of Baldwin's arrival in Selma are available courtesy of a special agent of the FBI, who was at the airport to witness the two brothers' disembarkation. The agent knew the identity of the missing friend, and of the man or woman whom Baldwin called once he realized he had been stood up. Presumably the agent learned about the call to Kennedy by snooping around at the Gaston Hotel. Throughout their stay in Selma, the Baldwins were tailed and photographed ... '

The Sleeping Beauty and other Fairy Tales, by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, 1910. 'Certainly the translations, when finished, did not satisfy me, and so I turned back to the beginning and have rewritten the stories in my own way, which (as you may say with the Irish butler) may not be the best claret, but 'tis the best ye've got.'

Papplewick Pumping Station. A preserved Victorian pump house. 'This is Britain's finest Victorian Water Works and the only one in the Midlands to be preserved as a complete working water pumping station. Papplewick was built in 1884 to supplement the water supply for the growing city of Nottingham.'
Views of the pumping station.
The British Engineerium. (Hove, East Sussex) 'A beautifully restored working Victorian pumping station and museum of mechanical antiquities. '

The Costume Museum - the Rebirth of the Tale of Genji. Costume history in Japan and the Tale of Genji; a visual feast.

Political advertising in China. 'Nowhere is the transformation of Chinese society more visible than in the marketization of public communication and advertising culture. Red forests of Coca Cola billboards have replaced "Red Oceans" of Maoist slogans. Propaganda organs have become advertising firms. Since 1978 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has both decentralized state political and economic authority and marketized its monopoly control over the economy, resulting in high economic growth and the privatization of economic institutions at the local level. Unlike the transitions from one-party rule in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, however, the CCP has largely maintained control over the political content of mass media communication. Newspapers, television and radio still voice the Party line, and Party slogans can still be found on walls and on banners waving overhead.'
[ ... ]
'We have constructed this archive of some 156 digital images because these important changes in Chinese advertising culture are particularly difficult for students to understand without visual referents.* This archive comprises surveys of outdoor public service announcements and political advertisements on the major thoroughfares of four of China's major cities: Shanghai and Beijing in 1997 and 1998, Chengdu in 1999, Xian and the Three Gorges Dam Project area, Hubei Province, in 2000.'

4th July
Happy Independence Day.
Welcome to East Timor! The world's newest nation state.
Canine Companions for Independence.
Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, by John Perry Barlow.
The Government of Tibet in Exile.
The Declaration of Independence. (US National Archives) Includes some scanned images.
The Chickasaw Nation. 'The Chickasaw Nation welcomes you to visit our great land, experience our culture and learn of our history. Our boundaries include 13 counties of the southeastern area of Oklahoma. '
Micronations. The micro-national resource network.
Victory City. 'The city of the future.'

Ulster History Park, Omagh, Northern Ireland.
'Welcome to the website of the Ulster History Park, the award-winning open-air museum of human settlement in Ireland. '
Petals of Hope.
'In the immediate aftermath of the Omagh bomb, flowers began to arrive in Omagh from all over the world. These flowers were a symbol of sympathy, solidarity and hope for all the people of Omagh, who were absolutely devastated by the barbarity of the attack. The flowers became a very potent mode of support and comfort to the people of the town in the process of trying to come to terms with the impact of the bomb.'
CAIN (Conflict Archive on the Internet), a page maintained by researchers at the University of Ulster, is a really excellent (if incomplete in places) resource on this particular aspect of Northern Ireland history. 'This site contains information and source material on 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland from 1968 to the present. Also information on society and politics in the region. Material is regularly added to the site and information on particular pages may change. The information is divided into a number of main sections that are accessible by clicking on the 'button' icons below. '
Background to the conflict.
CAIN - the Omagh bomb, 15th August 1998. 'The bomb in Omagh on Saturday 15 August 1998 resulted in 29 deaths and hundreds of injuries. It was the single worst incident in Northern Ireland during the current conflict.'

Korean Folk Tales. Four illustrated stories.
Why the sea is salty.

' From South Carolina comes the story of a man who accepts a dare to spend a night in a haunted house ... '
Via the Moonlit Road, ghost stories and folk tales of the American South.

Masami Teraoka, Pasadena City College artist in residence, 1998. 'Masami Teraoka, one of the most popular contemporary artists in the world, fuses the techniques used in the ancient Japanese watercolor ukiyoe prints with techniques found in the American pop art movement. Teraoka explores themes in American culture utilizing contemporary symbolism, ancient craft and techniques. Dealing with modern issues, Masami Teraoka is known for exploring the "culture clash" of Japan and America. '
Art on the Margins | Asian-American.
Masami Teraoka's Art Theatre. Official site.

Misión San Francisco De Asis (Mission Dolores). Registered Landmark Number One of the City and County of San Francisco, CA, USA.
'The story of Misión San Francisco de Asis (popular name of Mission Dolores) began some 220 years ago. It was in March, 1776, that a scouting party under the direction of Lt. Don Jose Joaquin Moraga visited the area and named the small stream and lake after the Saint of the day, Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (Lake of Our Lady of Sorrows). He returned to Monterey to convey the news and received his commission to establish a presidio and mission in the name of Carlos III of Spain. His expedition of soldiers, colonists with wives and children, and two Franciscans arrived on June 27, 1776, to pitch their camp near the Lake. On June 29, Fras Francisco Palou and Benito Cambon celebrated Mass in honor of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on the shores of the small lake. This would be the site of the future Mission, but the date of June 29th would become the official birthday of the City of San Francisco...'
Historical photographs of the Old Mission.

Dyffryn Fernant garden, a delightful small garden in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Flaming June 2002.

Stanford Solar Centre. 'This site presents a collection of fun educational activities based on Solar Oscillations Investigation (SOI) and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) data. Students can explore the Sun's tangled magnetic field, its turbulent surface motions, the dramatic sunspot cycle, and even what magic happens in the solar interior where instrumental eyes cannot penetrate. '
Giant loops in the solar atmosphere may trigger reversals of the Sun's magnetic poles, new study reveals.

Have you seen this fish? Don't miss!
Maryland Fishing Report :- 'A few weeks ago an angler stopped by Fisheries Service in Annapolis with a photograph of a fish he had caught in a Crofton pond. After some research, fellow biologists identified the fish as a northern snakehead. Key distinguishing features of this snakelike fish include a long dorsal fin, small head, large mouth, and big teeth. It can grow up to 40 inches in length and weigh up to 15 pounds. This species is not native to Maryland waters and has the potential to cause serious problems if introduced into our ecosystem. If you come across this fish, please DO NOT release it. Fisheries Service is asking that anglers euthanize this fish by cutting/bleeding since it can survive for several days out of water. This fish was most likely introduced by an individual with an aquarium. Never release aquarium fish into ponds and lakes! '

White squirrel wars. 'Not one, but four towns use albino squirrels as their claims to fame, and none is particularly happy about the others. Kenton, TN, accommodates about 200 of the furry rodents. Residents insist that the squirrels "have been here the longest" and claim they were left by a "Gypsy caravan" in 1869. Is Kenton, we asked, where the other towns got their white squirrels? "Well, they had to come from somewhere." '

Penguin Classics trivia quizzes. Fun, fun, fun. Via Iconomy.

Soccer: a matter of love and hate. (New York Review of Books) An interesting piece. Thanks to jp for passing it on!

Fishy fossil reveals first steps on land.

What if kids built the cities?

King of the mountains for a day. 'The toughest race in the world starts next Saturday - if you want to know how tough, you can have a go. Our cycling correspondent William Fotheringham discovers how the Tour de France looks from the other side of the handlebars.' Via Fat Buddha.

3rd July
Edinburgh City Lights. Homeless writing in Scotland.
'Every week in the Big Issue in Scotland there is one page devoted to the creative writing, poetry, prose and other written work by homeless people in Scotland. '
'It's called CITY LIGHTS.'
'The main resource of this page is the output of two homeless people's writers' groups. One in Glasgow and the other in EDINBURGH. '
'This site has been set up by the members of the Edinburgh group and presents the work unedited. '

Villa Julilla.
'Domina wishes to make you welcome to the Villa, and as you explore, you will become aquainted with the rhythm of daily life in ancient Rome and learn about fashions for men and women, dining and cuisine, and home life. '
A virtual tour of women's life in ancient Rome.

Diwurruwurri - The Message Stick.
From the 'about' page :-
'In our languages, Diwurruwurru means MESSAGE STICK. '
'We send out message sticks far and wide when we want to invite people to visit us, to celebrate with us, or to settle matters that trouble us. '
[ ... ]
'We are Aboriginal Australians living in the 'top end' of Australia, on the southern shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria in the small Northern Territory town of Borroloola and the areas around it. Our homelands are in the Edward Pellew Group of Islands towards the south of the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia.'
'We belong to four different cultures: the Yanyuwa (the senior Law people of the area), the Garrwa, Mara and Gudanji. We are closely linked through culture and marriage to other Aboriginal peoples of Borroloola,the Garrwa, the Mara and the Gudanji. This website shows mainly the Yanyuwa culture, but many Garrwa and Mara people and customs will be seen here too. Eventually, there may be sites for these cultures too.'

Masami Teraoka. (Catharine Clark Gallery)
'Upon arrival in the US, Teraoka observed that American values are in constant flux characterized by "big ideas," freedom, individuality and materialism, in contrast to Japanese cultural values, which he felt could be described as appreciation for ancient customs, familial responsibility and discretion. For Teraoka, the comparative experience of living in America and Japan informed his early series that was stylistically pop, full of whimsy and humor. Perhaps best described as observations on the profound cultural calamity of the two 'worlds,' Teraoka explores the meeting of the cultures in the series McDonald's Hamburgers Invading Japan. Works from this period are executed in Teraoka's then signature medium of watercolor on paper, painted in the style of traditional Japanese woodblock of the nineteenth century Edo period, appropriating the aesthetic, compositional and stylistic concerns of such artists as Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) and Katsushika Hokusai (1759-1849). '
Part 2.

Forwarding Address Required. (US National Postal Museum) 'On February 19, 1942, following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the outbreak of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. The order authorized the U.S. Army to establish sensitive military areas within the United States and remove any and all persons thought to be a potential threat to the American war effort. In all, more than 120,000 Nikkei, or persons of Japanese descent, living on the west coast were sent to isolated internment camps.'
'While other civil rights and liberties were restricted, the U.S. Post Office was committed to providing the Japanese American internees with regular mail service. This mail service played a critical role in the daily lives of internees. Miss Clara Breed, a children's librarian in San Diego, used the mail to aid the Japanese American children who sent away to internment camps with their families. Prior to the war, Miss Breed had grown fond of the children who visited the library. She used the mail to maintain contact with her students and provide them with hope, compassion, and understanding.'
Via the National Postal Museum's online exhibits page, which has a good selection on subjects as diverse as FDR's stamp-collecting, Cuba's early postal history, and folk art mailboxes of America.

Water world satellite returns first images. 'The first spectacular images showing the Earth's oceans in detail have been returned by NASA's new environment-watching satellite, Aqua.' (New Scientist)

Symbolic Sculptures and Mathematics. (Centre for the Popularisation of Mathematics) Beautiful images.

The Forevertron. A non-profit welded metal sculpture park, near Baraboo, Wisconsin. Many photos.
Narrow Larry on the Forevertron. 'The Forevertron can't be described in words. Some people have thrown around stuff like, "a masterpiece of visionary folk art", or "that thing's way cool". Back in 1983, Dr. Evermor (or Tom Every, as he was known back then) began construction on one of the few 320 ton, 50 foot high, anti-gravitation machines in South-Central Wisconsin. Using his years of experience as an industrial wrecker, and his convenient location at Delaney's Surplus yard, Dr. Evermor created an environment that also includes an assortment of other pieces: a giant spider, a customized barbecue-pit vehicle, and a 46 member Bird Band. Who knew that old survey markers, quantum physics, and art could be "way cool"? '

The Animal Rescue Site. A new sister site to the Hunger Site.

The Hundred Thousand Years War. 'What is happening in Cro-Magnon Territory and the Neanderthal territories?'

The Declaration of Independence road trip.

True Patriotism at the Children's Theater by Mark Twain. 'The Children's Theater for immigrants organized by the Educational Alliance on the Lower East Side of Manhattan was Mark Twain's favorite project from 1907 until it closed in 1909. On November 19, 1907, he recruited such a distinguished audience for a benefit presentation of "The Prince and the Pauper" that the children thought they were performing before kings and queens. In an interview conducted the next day in his bedroom, where he often received guests, he praised the performance and addressed the "chief point of importance" that led him to support the theater: its training of "true patriots." '

Sun's spectacular show. 'The giant prominence at the bottom left of the image is more than 30 times the Earth's diameter. Such prominences are not uncommon on our star. ' (BBC)
Nasa launches comet probe. 'The US space agency (Nasa) has launched a space probe which scientists hope will go some way to explaining how the planets were formed. ' (BBC)
Scientists estimate 30 billion Earths.

The hyena man of Harar. 'As darkness falls over the ancient walled city of Harar, local people and tourists make their way to the outskirts of the city to see a bizarre spectacle.'
'With only the headlights of a car to illuminate the night's events, a small group of curious spectators gathers a few feet from Mulugeta Wolde Mariam, the hyena man of Harar. '
'He then calls out to the 30 or 40 wild hyenas which inhabit the forests surrounding the city. '
'Within minutes, seven or eight pairs of luminous eyes appear in the dark. Mulugeta intensifies his calls and the wild animals draw closer. ' (BBC)

RIP Ray Brown, husband of Ella Fitzgerald and bassist with the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Defying predictions, HIV in Africa has not yet peaked. (AllAfrica)
'"The scale of the Aids crisis now outstrips even the worst-case scenarios of a decade ago," according to a new UNAIDS Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic, and Africa continues as "the worst-affected region in the world." '
'By 2020, according to UNAIDS numbers, over 25% of the workforce may be lost to Aids in some severely affected countries.'
Desertification threatening millions.

Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are being relaunched. Cor! 'Long before Pokmon, Gameboy, or even Harry Potter, the first major boy craze to sweep Britain was Ian Livingstone and Steve Jacksons Fighting Fantasy.'
Advanced Fighting Fantasy is a good site for those who remember this particular playground craze.

2nd July
Becoming Human. Paleoanthropology, evolution and human origins. A very good site. An excellent site about the scandal that destroyed the Nixon presidency. The site is maintained by Malcolm Farnsworth, an Australian teacher.

English oak trees. From the intro :- 'I have set up this web site firstly to map, if you weren't already aware, the staggering complexity and value of one of my favourite trees, the English Oak, otherwise known as the Pedunculate Oak, Common Oak, or universally Quercus Robur. Secondly, to persuade you to plant more trees, for environmental reasons that I hope will become clear and thirdly, to promote the concept of environmental and social change by making different consumer choices.'
(With the URL, how could I not link this page?)

The Black Sash.
Who we are. 'Formed in 1955, the Black Sash began as a women's anti-apartheid movement opposed to the gross human rights violations practised under apartheid. "The conscience of white South Africa" is what Nelson Mandela called us - we fought apartheid through protest vigils, marches and advice offices for those deprived of their basic human rights.'
Why we're still around.

Chinese tea ceremony. 'Jan Lee, a gentle, enthusiastic young man who is an apprentice tea master, serves tea in his family's Chinese antique store on Mott Street in New York's Chinatown. Amid the ancient vases and jars, figurines, furniture, lanterns and bird cages, at a small marble and carved wood table, Jan performs the gracious and sensuous Chinese tea ceremony ... '
Description of a Chinese tea ceremony at a shop in New York's Chinatown.

An introduction to the Japanese tea ceremony written by the head tea master of Ogasawara Sencha Service School.

The Canterbury Tour. 'Welcome to Peter Collinson's tour of the City of Canterbury. The tour contains 500 pages, each with a photo and some text. The pages are paired, so a view in one direction is complemented by the view "behind you". Pairing means that you can walk to one end of the city, turn round and walk back again. You can turn right and left, taking different routes to explore the City. '

District Six Museum. Township history.
'In 1989 ex-residents of District Six envisaged a museum to commemorate the area and honour the people who fought against the forced removals and the Group Areas Act. '
'On 10 December 1994, the District Six Museum opened with its first exhibition Streets - Retracing the Past.'
'The old Methodist Church at 25A Buitenkant Street, Cape Town, South Africa, is the chosen venue of the District Six Museum, which provides a space for the community to come together and share their experiences and retrace their memories. The Museum also serves as a reminder that forced removals must never happen again.'

1st July Actions without borders. From the 'Our mission' page :- 'Action Without Borders is a global network of individuals and organizations working to build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.'
'Action Without Borders is independent of any government, political ideology or religious creed. Its work is guided by the common desire of its members and supporters to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect.'

Basho's World. 'The stations listed below are from Matsuo Basho's travel diary "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" (Oku no Hosomichi). The primary translation is by Nobuyuki Yuasa, from The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches.'

Secrets of Great Wishford. 'As people in the village of Great Wishford prepare for the Oak Apple day celebrations, a new book aims to reveal the history of this south Wiltshire community.'

Sporup Arcade Museum. 'Welcome to Sporup Arcade Museum - Europe's largest* private collection of vintage arcade machines outside Germany and England. ' 'From the first and greatest classics such as Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Bomb Jack and Bubble Bobble across Sega's large, moving machines such as Space Harrier and Out Run to modern NeoGeo-classics such as Metal Slug. '

Bunyip stamps. 'In 1994 Australia Post issued a highly popular series of four postage stamps which featured different images of the bunyip.'
'Australian aboriginal stories describe the bunyip as an evil spirit which dwells in creeks, swamps, and billabongs. The bunyip's loud bellowing cry terrifies the aborigines. They avoid water sources where they believe a bunyip might live. Some stories suggest the bunyip emerges at night principally to prey on women and children as well as animals. '

The treehouse as a life metaphor.

Brazil wins World Cup 2-0.

Slow food. Slow down and enjoy - what a good idea. Via Spinning Jennie.

A nice online quiz. Even if you don't like online quizzes, you will probably like this one. Via Spinning Jennie.

General Zod :- '... You may have heard that "the pledge of allegiance" was recently declared unconstitutional. But do you pathetic mortals know the real reason behind this? It is because there was an error in the wording of it, not because some judge (whom I did not appoint) declared it so. Allow me to show you:'
' "And to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God." '
'Yes, a serious typographical error indeed. It should have read, "One planet under ZOD!" ...
Via the Presurfer.

' Matthew McClintock, a 35-year-old webmaster from Chicago, makes lists and takes pictures to an obsessive degree. '
'McClintock has created a website that attempts to document everything in his house, from the boxers in his dresser to the tools in the basement, and absolutely everything else in between. ' (Wired)
Map of the house.
A desk drawer.